“So the thing about Cat People,” the stuntman said, talking about the last movie he had worked on in L.A. before coming back to Utah, “is that I didn’t really have much to do. But still got the paycheck.” He laughed. “And that’s the thing with my line of work. It’s hard to get in.
I took care of Johnny’s horses. Johnny cared about them, and so he’d come and watch me, and it wasn’t possible for me not to imagine that he cared for me too. In part, at least, because we shared an object of affection. Perhaps love is always a three way—but the third must be an object. When another subject enters, that’s when the trouble . . . Of course horses are both . . .
Abeba, The African Giantess, stood on the crest of the hill watching The Great Petey Smith Circus carnies, performers, and mob of spectators swarm the square next to the town’s railroad tracks. Rain had pelted her tent in the dark hours, the thunderous hymn waking her up, but she knew then it wasn’t going to be no cleaning rain.
Whenever Rose closed her eyes she saw it. It greeted her when she lay down in bed each night to go to sleep, and at any time during the day when she wanted to rest her eyes. It was very big—hard to say how big because it was never next to anything. It was a rectangle of true black within the more hazy black of closed eyes.
Erin had been to Bob Ellis's Christmas party five years running. Eric had been there either two or three out of the last five years. He couldn't remember which. He might have been there the year before, but he couldn't be sure. He thought he might have been there, but there was no way of telling. It was a year ago. Or longer, if he hadn't actually been there. Which he wasn't sure he had.
Harvey rides the subway every morning. For an insufferable amount of time, the ticker reads 4 Train Crown Heights Utica Ave Delay, as it often does most mornings and Harvey gnaws the little flap of skin hanging from his right pinky finger and clenches his butt cheeks and stares across the platform at the few souls traveling uptown and thinks bitches ...
He points an index finger in her face. "The house will be a great investment," says Dex. "Every penny we put in we'll get out. Beatrice looks at him. Blinks. It's Saturday morning. They're sitting in the coffee shop, eating bagels, sipping coffee. A block around the corner is the supermarket. Two blocks over is the dry cleaner. Beatrice could walk the neighborhood blindfolded. A map of every street and avenue is sketched in her brain.
Back in the summer of 09’ my roommate Carlos dated this vegan alternatina named Lalí, a name I couldn’t stand because it was like something out of a play written by a well-intentioned white guy, probably about the early Afro-Colombians coming face-to-face with Spanish Colonists on some yellow-sanded beach. When he first started bringing her up out of left field—at the gym while I spotted him, in our dorm lounge as we played Super Smash Bros.—I knew that there had to be a reason.
The deluge came. It was the first week of May and the first rainstorm that felt as if the fairer weather of summer might finally be upon them. Wind gusts carried curtains of rain over the city, soaking storefronts and pedestrians. It was a dark Sunday afternoon and Ian was helping Brad unload two giant suitcases from Brad’s car.
One month past my eighteenth birthday and I was standing at the forepeak, poised to leap, when the skipper of the purse seiner I’d hitched a ride on from Juneau motioned me back down. “Adam!” the old fisherman yelled, leaving his position at the wheel and coming out on deck. “Your pack! You forgot your backpack!”
Winter usually presents the most desperate moments for an exhibitionist. The cold air turns us into exclusive affairs. We linger alone, rush up the stairs apart from our friends, and because it’s always too chilly to stop and talk, we cover our eyes and ears and lips in thick cloth, cotton or polyester, anything at all to obstruct language and hearsay and hot air.